Euro Declines Versus Dollar on Growth Concern as Pound Weakens

The euro weakened against the dollar on concern the region’s economy will struggle to grow this year.

Europe’s shared currency slipped from a 20-month high against the yen amid speculation its gain had been too rapid. Italian industrial orders fell 0.5 percent in November from a month earlier, a report showed today. The pound slid for a sixth day against the dollar after retail sales unexpectedly fell in December. South Africa’s rand weakened against all its major counterparts on concern labor protests will curb exports.

“The euro is giving back some of its gains,” said Lutz Karpowitz, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “It went too high, too quickly. The economy is still very weak. We don’t expect the euro strength to remain.”

The euro declined 0.2 percent to $1.3348 at 10:16 a.m. London time, leaving it little changed on the week. Europe’s shared currency slid 0.2 percent to 119.96 yen, after rising to 120.71, the strongest since May 2011. Japan’s currency was little changed at 89.88 per dollar.

The pound fell 0.4 percent to $1.5929, while the rand dropped 0.6 percent to 8.8583 per dollar, extending this week’s decline to 1.6 percent.

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